Monday, October 1, 2007

Why This Evangelical Christian Will Never Cast A Vote For Rudy Giuliani. It isn't Feelings Or Anger

I want to begin by saying that I am a BIG fan of Dennis Prager and his radio program. I don’t always agree with his conclusions, but I greatly agree with his analytical priorities. He always says that he prefers clarity over agreement. Around 100 years ago, Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein described the primary task of a philosopher as clarifying questions. It seems particularly today that much shrill and perpetual argument proceeds from different understandings of particular questions: the language is asking one thing in a mind on one side, and another thing in a mind on the other side. Naturally, that argument is interminable.

Often when I disagree with Prager, the roots of the disagreement are in his Jewish and my Christian perceptual frameworks, though given his own perspective, Prager is well-educated on Christian theology and history. But, today, he opened his program by going directly at the story about evangelical leaders pondering a third-party candidate if Rudy Giuliani is the Republican nominee. He quickly went to a break. But, I was certain that this would be one matter on which he and I would disagree, and I was correct. And, it had nothing to do with Christianity and Judaism.

Prager is far from alone in his opinion. Most Christians would say the same thing, even among my closest friends and family. But, I believe that embrace of the fundamental American and moral disposition of disrespect for human life, poses the demise of civil American society. as much as the disrespect of liberty did in slavery and legally approved segregation. Here is the letter that I wrote to Dennis Prager:

I’ll tell you why I won’t vote for Rudolf Giuliani and why we shouldn’t.

It is not a purely emotional issue with me. It is not only rational. It is PURELY rational! I listen to you every day and have followed you for almost 15 years. And I had steam coming from my ears, listening to you talk about irrational passion! It isn’t about feelings for me. It’s about integrity. Not mine. America’s!

1) One party in America has entirely abandoned the very foundational principle of respect for human life. You have it exactly backward. I’m speaking as a historically activist Republican who knows how the parties operate on the inside. If we release that principle, we should never expect respect for it to return. Once you tell a party that you will vote for it, no matter what it does or offers, you have lost any influence with that party. At bottom, the only language political operatives understand is, “will you vote for us or not?” Yes? Thank you. We’ll count on you, next election.

2) If Republicans select someone who doesn’t understand this very simple and basic principle, why do I want a chief executive in charge of protecting and defending The Constitution whom I have no reason to think even understands The Constitution, or even the cornerstone of The Declaration of Independence?

3) This Republican Party deserves, and I want them to lose. If The Republican Party forsakes a most fundamental principle, decisively loses an election, and they don’t correct a great error, who is irrational, I or The Republican Party? If they were rational, they would realize that they must never do that, again.

4) I believe that once both parties release the most foundational principles to the pop-social currents, they have released an important tether to pull it back. And, I believe a society that absorbs a disposition that convenience is above decency; the civility of that society is steeply on the wane.

It isn’t personal. In some ways I like Giuliani, and the divorce and cross-dressing concerns for example, mean little or nothing. As I always say: the mere unjust death of babies is not the most important issue…There have always been and always will be unjust deaths. Eternity will deal with that. But, a society that assimilates the idea that other humans, EVEN THEIR OWN OFFSPRING, are subordinate to selfish ideas of convenience is a society that will eventually lose the common civility to conduct the most ordinary commerce and relations.

5 comments:

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Hi Larry: Trust me, it's all about "feelings" and "anger."

As I've said before Rudy Giuliani's strategy is one that neither asks for nor expects the those possessed, for whatever reason, for a deep, abiding hatred of the secular and pluralistic elements of America. In other words, he doesn't want the support of people who worship at the altar of their own mirrors. That would include you and "Amerika-hating" Dr. Laurence White. I would suggest that on election day you spend it at home . . . preferably in the company of your mirror.

Michigan Redneck said...

Great post! Keep sticking to your convictions.

Jumper 2.0 said...

I am definitely with you on Huckabee!

Lee said...

I have expressed before, and I will say it again, that should Mike Huckabee not win the Republican Party nomination, he should run as an independent. From a personal perspective, I think he already should be running independently, since the GOP establishment is working hard to keep him off the ticket.

My interest in supporting a GOP candidate goes directly to their willingness to support the things related to the Christian social agenda. Since Giuliani doesn't support anything I am interested in, he won't get my vote either.

Perhaps, after getting beaten to the ground in the presidential race in '08, and losing more Senate and House seats as they are predicted to do, the GOP will stop taking evangelical conservative Christians for granted.

Larry Perrault said...

Lee:

I stopped having an instinct to reflesively follow the Republican hered a long time ago. In fact, especially today, neither political party establishment is tied primarily to principles, although some of their office-holders are, and most of their voters are. But, the party establishment has these principles on the table of negotiation for the treir real ultimate prize, which is winning power. If they thought it would serve them in that regard, most of these political strategist could almost completely swap their issues positions with the other party, with the major difficulty being just learning to temper their habitual rhetorical instincts.

All of that said, the founding principles of the Republican Party, which emphasized fundamental moral principles on which democracy is played and within which democracy is constrained, are worth working to preserve or retrieve, as the case may be.

That is to be distinguished from the historical bottom-line of the Democratic Party, which is, as the name suggests, preserving the will of the majority of the people, which might restrain a tyrannical ruler or rulers, but doesn't restrain the tyranny of the electoral majority over the minority. That of course, was the problem with slavery which then-Democrats defended, and abortion today, which today's Democrats defend.

I will defend rebublican (small "r") principle whether it will be held up in The Republican (capital "R") party defend or understand it or not, which today's "frontrunners" clearly don't, but Huckabee does.